About 2,000 villagers protested against POSCO‘s planned $12 billion steel plant on Saturday. Women and children formed a human ring around the site. Local opposition has long delayed the South Korean company building its 4 million tonnes plant. It is considered India’s biggest foreign investment project, in Orissa.
POSCO signed the agreement for the mill in 2005 and it was scheduled to begin production by the end of 2011. Protests, environmental concerns and government inquiries into alleged illegalities at a related mining concession have delayed it.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh gave the plant clearance in January on certain conditions, including ensuring that tribal rights and forest protection laws are observed. He said while giving permission he was against regularization of illegalities but had to. In fact tribal rights protected by Forest Rights Act, and environment concerns are utterly ignored and violated.
Orissa’s government started acquiring land for the world’s No. 3 steel company after the environment ministry’s January approval. POSCO needs 4,000 acres (1,600 hectares) of land. Local officials tried to persuade the villagers to back away and not use women and children as human shields, media said. About 500 policemen were deployed to try to control the protesters, roughly half them women and children.
BBC NEWS | 2009/12/27 | 17:48:41 GMT
A South Korean consortium has been awarded a contract worth some $40bn (£25bn) to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. The group, led by the Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco), beat bids from a US-Japanese group and a French firm. South Korean officials said the deal was the biggest single contract the country had ever won abroad. Though the world’s third largest oil exporter, the UAE says only nuclear power can meet its energy demands. The nuclear reactors should all be in operation by 2020, by which time demand for electricity in the UAE is expected to have more than doubled. The first is scheduled to begin supplying power in 2017.
As well as Kepco, the winning consortium includes Samsung, Hyundai and Doosan Heavy Industries, as well as US firm Westinghouse and Japan’s Toshiba. The South Korean president’s office described the deal as “the largest mega-project in Korean history.” It also represents that first time the country has exported a nuclear power plant, according to the Associated Press news agency. South Korea first introduced atomic power in 1978 and now has 20 nuclear reactors in operation.